Pinwheel of Doom

We’ve been editing our Visual Law Project film The Worst of the Worst on Final Cut Pro X. And I use the word “editing” lightly because what we’re mostly doing is waiting for that infuriating pinwheel to stop spinning.

I don’t think I can go into a rant that’s too detailed until much later. (It’s… it’s too soon…) But needless to say, this has been an excruciating process trying to edit this film. Volumes have already been written about the new FCP X and it’s shortcomings, and much of it is about very drastic changes in professional work flow and functionality. That holds for me, as well, but my biggest complaint is speed. I know that I’m not the only one who has encountered the following problem: after every single move – shifting the timeline, changing the volume level, or inserting a clip – the pinwheel comes up for 15-30 seconds.

Now, that doesn’t seem like much to get all tied up into knots about, but imagine that I do hundreds and hundreds of small moves an hour – those lost minutes add up. But it’s more about momentum. It would be like writing an email and after every sentence you have to wait 30 seconds. It would be enough to make you resort to actually calling someone on the phone.

And this isn’t because we have an old system – far from it. We bought a brand new iMac that was configured only for using FCP X by Apple’s own standards back in November. We’re also using the highest speed drive – G-Raid 7200 rpm drive.

So this is partially why the film isn’t done yet. I can’t extrapolate just how much time has been wasted on what I believe is Apple’s worst piece of software ever made, but it has to add up to an order of weeks lost.

Okay, so it was a small little rant.

We’ve been trying to get a rough cut into shape to apply for some additional funding, so hopefully I can finish before my flight to LA this week. Depends entirely on the Pinwheel.


2 thoughts on “Pinwheel of Doom

  1. Mr. Raju, my name is Ramona Ramdeen, I am an American born Indian. I was born in 1970, in Minneapolis, MN, I’m almost positive I was the first Indian born there! LOL LOL Unlike you my parents were a microbiologist and a nurse, so they never supported me artistically, but after many decades of searching for myself, I have finally found it in filmmaking. I currently maintain a 4.0 at the Art Institute of Jacksonville, FL in their Digital filmmaking program. I am so inspired by you, and your films. As an American born FEMALE Indian filmmaker I believe there is a place for me in this industry. American Made is the epitome of the type of films I hope to make one day. I am so glad I found you, and I plan to keep close tabs on you. lol. So since Oprah says you have to say it to make it happen, “I know I will meet you someday, but I also hope to work with you as well!” However, if you are still using FCP X I may change my mind! I guess Apple has decided that there is more money in home video than professional editing. As for me I’m still using 7. lol lol lol PLEASE continue to keep us posted on your progress. I look forward to seeing The Worst of the Worst this fall.

    1. Hello Ramona!

      Thanks for the message and the kind words about American Made! There is a place for you in the industry – it definitely needs the voices of Indian-American female filmmakers. There are a few good ones, including my friend Nisha Ganatra who helped paved the way for me with movies like Chutney Popcorn.

      My parents are actually in the sciences, too, but I’ve been really fortunate that they’ve been nothing but supportive throughout. It probably helps that my dad, although a doctor, also writes fiction and nonfiction and my mother’s father was a celebrated poet in India. (My brother is even a reporter – we are lucky and cursed to have a family of writers!)

      As for FCP X – it’s just the worst. I didn’t have a choice in getting it unfortunately – Yale bought us a new Mac for the Visual Law Project, so you can’t get FCP 7, only X. I’m done using it after The Worst of the Worst is finished – back to my trusty Avid Media Composer v5.

      Keep up the hard work and keep me updated as how things are progressing in your life as a filmmaker!

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